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February 28, 2023

Divided Supreme Court reverses 5th Circuit to hold penalty for failure to file FBAR report is on a per-form basis, not a per-account basis

In a 5-4 decision (Bittner v. United States), the Supreme Court has reversed and remanded a Fifth Circuit decision to hold that, under the Bank Secrecy Act, a taxpayer's failure to file a legally compliant FBAR report on his foreign financial accounts should be treated as one violation carrying a maximum penalty of $10,000 — not as a separate violation for each foreign account not timely reported. For background, see Tax Alert 2022-0969. A Tax Alert is forthcoming.

Published by NTD’s Tax Technical Knowledge Services group; Carolyn Wright, legal editor